Calcutta police constable Tarak Das, who is under suspension and was arrested on Wednesday night for allegedly beating up six people with CPM links, has been charged with “attempt to murder” and remanded in police custody till October 1.
The police said Das had assaulted the six while leading an attack on the office of a Citu-backed rickshawpullers’ union in Baghajatin on September 15.
The cop with alleged Trinamul links had been suspended twice — first for leading an attack on a CPM office and journalists in Jadavpur during the February 28 general strike called by Left trade unions and then for assaulting a promoter.
In neither case, however, he had been charged with attempt to murder.
“In the Baghajatin party office attack case, there are allegations that Das had assaulted six men with iron rods. So, he has been booked under the non-bailable Section 307 of the IPC (attempt to murder),” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, joint police commissioner, crime.
Ghosh claimed Das had been on the run for some time. “Yesterday, we had specific information and rounded him up from Baghajatin,” Ghosh added. “There are several cases pending against him and we will probe each.”
Lalbazar sources feel senior Trinamul leaders were behind the arrest because Das was picked up by the detective department, instead of Patuli police station where the Citu had lodged a complaint against him.
“It appears the police brass had received orders from the Trinamul leadership to go after Das, who seemed to be flaunting his allegiance to the ruling party for some time now. A section of Trinamul leaders wanted to take the wind out of the Left sails by getting the tainted constable arrested ahead of the Left Front rally on October 1,” said a senior police officer, refusing to be named.
“By getting cops to arrest a cop, the party wants to project itself as unbiased on the issue of law and order.”
Das’s name had first hit the headline after he allegedly led an attack on journalists reporting the ransacking of the CPM’s Jadavpur zonal party office during the February 28 strike.
The constable, then attached to Kidderpore police station, was not arrested despite his name figuring in the FIR. The authorities suspended him and started a departmental inquiry against him. The probe, however, could not be completed as the deputy commissioner who had ordered it was transferred.
The suspension was withdrawn on April 23, and three days later he was was accused of another assault. The victim this time was a Trinamul man, a promoter named Pradip Ghosh.
“The assault was the fallout of Trinamul factional feud,” said an officer.
Das was suspended again and the suspension is still in force. He, however, could not be arrested as he had obtained anticipatory bail.